Monday, February 2, 2009

Life comes a full circle

Well there is something which brings me back today to blog, its that something deep inside which wants to express out and open doors to one's thoughts.

Ill be moving to a new domain for my professional blogging which i pledge to take seriously from hereon, and plan to continue blogging here to let out my personal emotions and thoughts.

I know im posting after a long time, and life has come a full circle ! Last few months have been life changing for me personally.

As one grows up one picks up learnings from parents, friends and the overall environment and society. Learnings like what is life, what is wrong and what is right. One feels he/she has figured out life, and destiny is something one can leave for the weak hearted!

But then it comes back, it hits you hard when you realise that all your learnings and understanding were just so novice. Life is an ever evolving complex set of variables and the moment you think you have grasped it, you loose everything and back to square one.

Those who know me would know the reasons behind my sudden deep philosophical bent of mind, and truly i love them for being with me and holding me together. I regret i took life so casually, over confident and looked down upon those who had a weaker approach to life - for example i never believed in God, i always thought im above all that and can dictate my own destiny.

So here i am, stranded without the confidence, and without the support system that was behind that confidence. Now i am like evry1 else - weak, external locus of controll, submitting myself to destiny and hanging on to life.

Truth as they say is stranger than fiction, and in this moment of truth i feel lost coz what it thought was the real truth is worse than the best lies !

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Market Penetration by a Virgin Enterprise

It takes an enormous amount of chutzpah to even attempt to make a splash and be noticed in an arena filled with players who are winners in their own right, but Virgin Mobile has done exactly that. Richard Branson has taken his brassiness and used it to cut through the very heart of Indian prudishness and no-sex-please-we’re-Indians fa├žade to achieve success in his very first foray into the Indian mobile phone service industry.

India is home to one of the largest mobile phone user base in the world. The country is already saturated with providers who are vying with one another both to sign up new users and to steal customers from the competition with new and enticing offers. Some GSM operators have even tied up with handset manufacturers to offer bundled services with perks while the two biggest CDMA operators in the country, Tata and Reliance, use their financial clout to launch marketing strategies that are designed to buy them a significant chunk of the mobile customer base.

The new era of globalization has made the world take notice of India’s booming and inviting market place, with enterprises hoping to get their foot in the door and grab a piece of the action for themselves. Virgin is not the first player to set foot on Indian telecom shores though; Orange, which was the first foreign company to set foot in the Indian mobile service market, bought out local firm BPL and christened it Hutch, only to have it taken over by international telecom giant Vodafone.

What makes Branson’s brand stand out is that it does not have the head start that Vodafone enjoys in the form of an existing customer base. Virgin Mobile thought long and hard before designing the perfect ad campaign to shake up and rattle Indian consumers who already face a difficult choice from the potpourri of players already in the field. The penetration strategy seems to have worked for this Virgin (pardon the intentional pun) because:

• The commercials are bold and brazen – they are based mostly on hitherto taboo subjects in the Indian media, homosexuality and phone sex being just a couple of examples. A girl hinting to her parents that she’s a lesbian has them falling head over heels to get her to go on a vacation with a guy – exactly what she wanted them to do; an innovative idea that captures the essence of the Virgin brand’s concept based on flashiness.
• Even though they’re based on sex, the commercials are done so tastefully that you feel like applauding rather than condemning them. They’re classy, not crass, a difference that makes this company stand out from others who use sex to sell their range of products.
• Some of the commercials are so audacious that they make you laugh out loud rather than feel offended even if they involve sex.
• And last but certainly not the least, Virgin Mobile is treading on virgin ground by offering to pay consumers for incoming calls – a concept that seems so daring when you consider the fact that consumers in the USA and other countries are paying providers for incoming calls.

Marketing is an art, one that requires a spark of genius and the skill of a mind reader. Judging by the reception to Virgin Mobile, Richard Branson has proved he’s a genius, yet again, this time in virgin territory.


Heather Johnson is a regular commentator on the subject of online college degrees. She welcomes your feedback and potential job inquiries at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

MBA Entrepreneurship - MBA Fee Hike

The recent fee hike by MBA institutes bring a relief to me ....wondering why ? coz Icfai is no longer one of the "most expensive b-schools" !

IIM-A took the lead by doubling its fee to almost among all the debate on wether its a fair/ethical move or not etc , one particular thought worries me.

Even if the students do manage to pay the fee through educational loans (rationale given by IIM) - what about post MBA entrepreneurship ??? Asitis it was tough to turn down the fat packages on offer - but now these brave hearts also have to worry about - who pays back my lacs in education loan if i dont takeup the campus offers !!!

think about it, would the IIM's provide any relief to such people who wanna tread the path less taken?

Friday, March 14, 2008

BarCamp returns to Mumbai again - Third Edition – 29 March at IIT Bombay

BarCamp Mumbai 2 was a big hit with over 200 attendees and a day full of discussions on many interesting topics and ideas. BarCamp Mumbai 3 is now on the cards for 29th March at School of Management at IIT Mumbai. In the true spirit of BarCamp it's an open platform which anyone can make her own. Anyone can participate, anyone can speak, agenda is drawn collectively at the start and any topic is welcome as long as you have others interested as well.

This time the infrastructure has been extended in view of the overwhelming participation last time. The venue can accommodate around 400 people. In addition, the open spaces within the building will have mattresses which can be used by groups of people to discuss or to just take a break.

This edition will also host a BlogCamp which will have people talk about all things blog and also other aspects of social media and marketing. There is also FireTalk where you can talk about your idea and exhort like minded people to join you – it can be a cool app or a full scale business plan. The people gathered thus prepare a broader blueprint offline and then present it to larger audience later in the day.

Come and make this your own BarCamp. Over a 100 people have already registered.

Register your participation for free at the wiki:

Register your topic at the wiki:

Tittle Sponsorer of Barcamp Mumbai3 is Sun Microsystem & Associate Sponsorer is Directi.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Beware ! Indian Online Advertising Industry

Im about to complete my MBA finally and have accepted offer for a management role with Tyroo Media , a STIG group company (which also owns Qusar Media,Zoomtra etc ).

Intrestingly Yahoo hiolds around 40% stake in Tyroo - with major competitors being Google Advertising Network apart from the host of such networks that have entered the indian online advertising market recently .

My role will be in the Business Development teamTeam -aka building relations with the advertisers and ensuring they maximise thier ROI and stick with us.

Its a dream job , though may pay lesser than the ICICI offer i have in hand. As they say - follow your passion, and everything else follows !

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The New Era - Branding 2.0 & Social Media

A very informative slideshow made by Sampad from ManagementChords on Branding in the emerging Web 2.0 and social media era

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here Comes Another Bubble

Amazingly well done light take on the so called Web2.0 bubble. Njoy !